The Blessing and Inauguration of Instituto de Brito


Instituto de Brito as a Jesuit institution for higher education in Timor Leste, was established in 2015 with the aim of producing new generations of teachers who have professional competence and deep ethical grounding. The vision is to provide the education sector in the country a big boost by providing the much needed leadership in education. Before moving into the newly built campus, the institute had to sort of ‘hover’ from one place to another. The school started by using the space in Casa Gonzaga for more than a year. Then it had to settle for a while in Colegio de Loiola for another year before finally getting its permanent nest in Kasait just beside Colegio de Loiola.

The new campus definitely calls for a ceremonial inauguration. The event was held on two separate days, 30th of April and the 3rd of May 2018. The inauguration was held earlier as the Minister of Education himself could not make it on the 3rd of May. The blessing was formally held on the 3rd of May.

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Their numbers are growing though not so remarkable the past several years now. The Jesuits in Timor Leste received two new scholastics among their ranks as Jesuits as they pronounced their first and perpetual vows on the 27th of April, 2018. Helio Ramos da Silva, SJ and Deonisio Freitas Mesquita, SJ took their vows before the blessed sacrament in the solemn mass presided by the Regional Superior, Fr. Joaquim Sarmento, SJ.

Helio and Deonisio professed their first vows on the 27th of April 2018. The occasion was attended by their families and friends. Their vows were received by the Regional Superior, Fr. Joaquim Sarmento, SJ. In his homily and words of encouragement for the vovendi (as the candidates for the vows are called among the Jesuits), he tells them a story ‘of a young boy who has to navigate the dark pathway in the forest. Upon the instruction of his father, he was made to carry a flaming torch with an instruction that he should protect the flame at all cost. Be prepared to make a sacrifice if necessary. You may slip on the mud or trip on the obstacles, but never let this flame snuff out.’ The moral of the story applies to the two who has just pronounced their vows. Like the young boy, they are to carry the flames in their hearts, burning for the love of Christ and his church. With our prayers, may Helio and Deonisio continue to be ignited for mission and be prepared to withstand the odds with their loving sacrifice of their own lives for the will of God.

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APROVECHAMIENTO – Jesuit Pastoral Work

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In the address made by Pope Francis to the members of the 36th General Congregation, one of the things he emphasized is to discern and practice more proactively the wisdom of St. Ignatius and the companions when the Formula of the Institute was drafted. He points out the unique concept of aprovechamiento which literally means “benefit”.

He said “the end of the Society of Jesus is to devote itself with God’s grace to labor strenuously in giving aid toward the salvation and perfection of the souls of their neighbors. With consolation, the Jesuit community in Kasait receives this exhortation by the pope as an affirmation of what they have been doing though not without struggle. They are making small impact but not at all insignificant to open the minds of the people to see the mystery of God working in daily lives.

The Jesuits assigned in Kasait have their hands full in school and social work. Upon the invitation of the former Parish Priest of Liquiça, the Jesuits priests residing in Kasait were missioned to say the Sunday masses in the stations in Neran and Lanumate in Kasait. As the number of priests in the Diocese of Maliana is also limited, the coverage of pastoral ministries of the Jesuits have expanded ever since, to include Caiteho, Bogoro, Bazartete, Aipelo, Leorema, Metahu and the main parish in Liquiça. The pastoral activities also include the wide range of sacraments; sacramentals and informal spiritual companioning.

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